Unexpected items in Readaround area – 28 August 2019

So, we’ve had the last Readaround – a sure sign that autumn is on the way. The venue was chez moi in Kilmaurs and a conservatory-full of people attended. I’m sorry you couldn’t find us Eddie – maybe next time.

Anne started us off with a further extract from her crime novel A Proper Sinner. The murder of Emma Howard has disrupted the lives of a country vicar, Simon Harrington and his wife Kate. Anne sets an atmospheric and melancholic mood as Kate, a former friend of the deceased, reflects on past events which may have a bearing on the murder.

Nigel’s piece is either a short story or the beginning of a novel. Tread Softly shows the struggle between opposing views on the restoration of an old inn. The minimalist architect wants, among other things, to rip out the old staircase. Our narrator is hoping to persuade other committee members against this. We loved the ‘architect-speak phrase about syncopated fenestration puncturing an elevation!

Gail, ably assisted by co-opted actors, had us falling off our chairs with laughter at her hilarious sketch about an automated doctor service. Trust me, you don’t want to go to that clinic!

Kirsty’s summer ghost story is a disturbing piece set in a deserted fun-fair. A girl, distraught at the death of her friend revisits the scene of the tragedy. The ghost of her friend tries to persuade her to join her. Is the piece too short for the Imprint Writing Competition? I don’t think there is a lower word limit, but alternative competitions were also suggested.

Linda gave us another possible competition story Nailed It. A disgruntled member of the aging pop group ‘The Rusty Nails’ resents being overlooked, yet again, as the lead singer takes all the glory. It doesn’t end well for the lead singer – that’s all I’m saying!

My contribution was another extract from my children’s novel The Secret Life of Ailsa McCann. Ailsa, after accidentally discovering her secret powers, arrives home soaking wet and expecting a bit of trouble. The trouble turns out to be worse than she thought. However, the arrival of her odd and mysterious Auntie Heck, gives her something else to think about.

Greta, continuing her children’s novel, shows hero Ben helping the scare-crows with their crow problems, in return, hoping for help in finding his missing brother and sister. I’m sure the twists and turns of the story will intrigue young readers.

Jeanette gave us a very funny 250 word flash fiction about a senior citizen pencil thief – IKEA beware!

Suzy read the prologue to her novel steeped in Victorian melodrama. We have a mutilated corpse, a fire and a highly suspicious ‘disappearing’ magician. Macabre and fascinating – can’t wait to hear more.

Martin, though not reading this evening, encouraged us to look out for his dieting guide Belly Aff (Hmm, is he suggesting we are all a bit on the porky side?? Well, we did eat a fair amount of cake!)

So, that’s it for this year. See you all on 11 September 11.

Maggie Bolton

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